from £2

per search

5 minute

response time

70,000

watches registered

750,000

watches checked per year

What we do

Services for dealers, pawnbrokers, auction houses, individuals, insurers and police

Dealers

Perform fast and effective due diligence by checking with the Watch Register prior to any transaction to avoid buying a stolen watch. Our service will give you and your customers peace of mind, and reduce your risk of confiscation or having to compensate a subsequent buyer if a watch turns out to be stolen. Demonstrating that you check with the Watch Register will help safeguard your reputation and earn the confidence of your customers.

If we determine that a watch you are checking with us is stolen, we will inform you immediately and request that you hold the watch securely. We will liaise with law enforcement and the victim or their insurer in order to resolve the matter as efficiently as possible.

Rolex watch

Pawnbrokers

Avoid lending on stolen goods and protect your reputation by checking items offered to you within minutes while your customer is still at the counter. Our service will help to ensure that you do not lose the value of your loan or risk confiscation.

We offer also subscriptions for checking certified diamonds, jewellery, artworks, antiques, musical instruments and all types of collectibles registered on the Art Loss Register in addition to watches. Please contact us for a quote depending on your requirements.

All items will also be searched against our database of authentication issues, thus allowing you to check if they have been reported as a possible fake or forgery.

Auction Houses

Auction houses specialising in the sale of watches or which sell watches among other items can subscribe to routine catalogue searching carried out by the Art Loss Register. This will provide reassurance for buyers and help to ensure that any items which are stolen or subject to claim are identified prior to sale and withdrawn from auction.

Normally, all lots valued at £1,000 and above are checked against the database, but additional searches are also available free of charge for private sales and items with suspicious provenance prior to their inclusion in a catalogue. For subscribing auction houses we also offer free registrations and assistance in the process of resolving a match.

Audemars Piguet Watch
Watch in shop

Private Individuals

Buy with confidence by checking the serial number of any pre-owned watch with the Watch Register or asking if your seller has already done so. It is the simplest step to ensuring good title. Alternatively, if you have suffered the theft of a watch, registering it on the Watch Register will offer you the best chance of finding it in future.

Insurers

Insurers can register lost and stolen watches on the Watch Register in order to maximise their recoveries. We offer insurers free registrations and reduced recovery rates under contract. A stolen watch can be quickly pawned for money or sold to a dealer, and by registering the serial number as soon as possible, insurers will improve their chances of preventing a sale and locating the watch. Our search operations also allow insurers to detect fraud. Please contact us for more information.

Hublot watch
Rolex vintage watch

Law Enforcement

The Watch Register is pleased to offer its search and registration services free of charge to all law enforcement agencies worldwide. We have a long history of working with agencies such as the FBI, Interpol, the Metropolitan Police Service and others. Please contact us and we will send you information on how to register losses and request searches of our database.

In the event that a watch or other item reported to you as stolen is located by us, we will request that the person checking it against our database secures the item and we will immediately inform you of its location. We will then provide any assistance you, the theft victim or insurer require in the recovery of the item.

Background

About the Watch Register database and its services

The Watch Register

The Watch Register is the largest international database of lost and stolen watches available for due diligence. It is the central database used by police forces, insurance companies, private individuals and the trade worldwide to record losses, and to check whether a watch has been registered as stolen.

The database currently lists over 70,000 lost and stolen watches, and is growing rapidly. The Watch Register includes registrations for over 850 different brands, manufacturers and watchmakers, in particular Rolex (over 22,000), OmegaCartierPatek PhilippeBreitlingTAG HeuerHublotIWCPiagetPaneraiAudemars PiguetJaeger LeCoultreBreguetTissotVacheron ConstantinBaume & MercierBulgariChopardA. Lange & SohneApple Watch and many more brands. The database also includes vintage, antique and pocket watches.

The Watch Register offers due diligence services to the watch trade, which allow pawnbrokers, watch dealers, auction houses and collectors to check the status of a watch on the database within 5 minutes and from as little as £2 per search.

Thanks to the growing use of the database by the trade and collectors, and the Watch Register’s collaboration with industry partners, 750,000 pre-owned watches passing through the international market are now checked against the database per year. These widespread search operations offer theft victims, insurers and police forces the best possible chance of recovering stolen watches.

The Watch Register icon

The Art Loss Register

The Watch Register is part of the Art Loss Register. Founded in London in 1990, the Art Loss Register is the world’s largest private database of lost, stolen and looted art, antiques and collectibles. It now contains information on half a million items. The range of items is considerable and includes paintings, sculptures, antiquities, watches, clocks, jewellery, musical instruments, furniture, books and coins.

The database is used by law enforcement, insurers, the trade, museums and private individuals worldwide in order to register losses with the aim of recovery, and the Art Loss Register has worked with these bodies to establish standards of due diligence within the art market and provide risk-management services. The database also holds records of fakes and forgeries, items which are subject to a dispute, items against which a loan has been secured and items registered pre-loss.

The experience gained throughout the Art Loss Register‘s 25 years of existence, during which property worth hundreds of millions of pounds has been recovered for the benefit of its rightful owners, now enables us to offer a dedicated and unrivalled service comprising due diligence searching, registration and recovery.

Art Loss icon

Our goals

We have three main goals at the Watch Register:

Firstly, we want to make it as easy as possible the trade and collectors to carry out due diligence on the watches they buy and sell, and thus to protect themselves from the consequences of dealing in stolen goods. To do this, we provide a fast and simple service throughout the day which can be used directly from your mobile phone or email, with the response reaching you within minutes.

Secondly, our aim is for our service to be used as widely as possible so that the watches on the database are checked against as many items as possible being offered for sale or loan. This will maximise the chances of the stolen watches registered on the database being found.

Finally, we endeavour to return the stolen watches we locate to their rightful owners as swiftly as possible, and negotiate settlements with any good-faith holders efficiently and discreetly.

All these goals complement each other and allow us to work towards our overall aim of reducing watch-related crime and its impact.

Goals icon

Our services

How to use our searching, registration and recovery services

Searching

Search subscriptions:
Dealers, pawnbrokers and auction houses can purchase subscriptions from around £2 per search (plus VAT where applicable). Clients can also pay in Euros or US dollars. We offer subscription bundles ranging from 20 – 1500 search credits, which are all valid one year. These can be purchased here.

We also offer annual subscriptions for greater volume; and combined subscriptions for searching other types of items in addition to watches (e.g. jewellery, antiques and artworks). Please contact us for more information on how to create an account.

Subscribers can submit searches via their web account or by text message. Lists of multiple watches can be submitted using the Bulk Upload option. Our team will check each watch against the database within 5 minutes during office hours and confirm the results to you by email. If you are searching by text message, you will also be notified of the result of your search by text message. If the watch in question is clear from our database, we will issue a Certificate to your account. Certificates can be provided to your customers or kept for your records as proof of your due diligence.

Office searching hours are 9 am – 6 pm GMT, from Monday to Saturday.

Individuals:
Collectors and individuals looking to buy a pre-owned watch can submit a one-off search by completing the form here. We require the brand, model and serial number of the watch. The cost is £10 / €13 / $15 per search (plus VAT where applicable). We process searches within 5 minutes during office hours (see above for times). If the watch in question is clear from our database, we will issue a Certificate to your account.

Law enforcement:
Searching is free of charge for law enforcement. Please contact us at info@thewatchregister.com to request a search of our database.

Search icon

Registration

The Watch Register registers lost and stolen watches on behalf of police officers, insurers, private individuals and the trade in order to maximise their chances of recovery. Watches must be registered with a serial number in order for them to be uniquely identifiable.

There is no charge for registrations by law enforcement agencies or subscribing insurers. Individuals are asked to pay a small fee of £10 / €15 / $15 per item (plus VAT where applicable) in order to register their loss. The watch will then remain registered on the database at no extra cost until it is recovered. At the time of registration we will request a crime reference number, details of insurance cover and proof of ownership.

To register a watch, please complete the form on our main Art Loss Register loss registration page here.

Register icon

Recovery

In the event that a watch searched with us is matched with one on the Watch Register, we will inform you immediately, request for you to hold the watch and contact the relevant law enforcement agency as well as the victim or their insurer, in order to resolve the matter. We offer full assistance to any law enforcement agency that may wish to investigate or seize the watch.

Once their inquiries have run their course and, subject to the circumstances, we will assist in either returning the watch to its rightful owner or, if appropriate, assisting you in negotiating an amicable settlement with the claimant.

We have developed considerable expertise in resolving complex title disputes in order to help theft victims and insurers secure a recovery, with frequent success in negotiations even after limitation periods for a claim have expired. We will work with the police to make a conviction where possible, and offer the benefit of our recovery services and assistance in negotiating a settlement if the current holder of a stolen watch has acted in good faith.

Recovery icon

Register a lost or stolen watch

Register your lost or stolen watch on our database to maximise your chances of recovery. Once registered, it will be checked against 750,000 watches passing through the pre-owned market each year, which are searched against our database by dealers, jewellers, pawnbrokers and auction houses. Your watch will remain registered on our database until it is recovered. In the event that we locate a watch you have registered we will contact you immediately and take steps to secure it, so that it can be returned to its rightful owner.

Please complete the registration form on our main Art Loss Register site, by clicking the button below. It is important that you provide the serial number of your watch and proof of loss in your registration.

Testimonials

Trade

“We have been using the Art Loss Register service for more than five years and find it exceptionally efficient and easy to navigate. With offices in the UK, New York and Beverley Hills it is critical we have a tool that we can rely on and the Art Loss Register helps us ensure that we are not lending against items that are stolen which in turn helps us operate compliantly.” – Borro Ltd

“An absolutely essential service for anyone buying and selling watches. You can text your request and get a response in a few minutes. I have been using it for over two years and I cannot recommend it highly enough.” – Pandeli Enterprises, Hatton Garden

“The Watch Register is such a convenient service as it gives peace of mind to our business when buying watches and the text message response is very efficient; within 5 minutes you will get an answer.” – RPM Pawnbrokers

Theft victims

“The Art Loss Register were fantastic in securing us a very significant benefit from the sale of a Rolex stolen some ten years earlier. While I don’t wish the need for legal assistance on anyone, if you found yourself in a situation that would warrant their services I would highly recommend the Art Loss Register.” – Theft victim represented by the Art Loss Register in the recovery of a stolen Rolex

“My watch was identified by the Art Loss Register and Rolex database and restored to me today. I had been unable to afford to replace it, and to be reunited with my watch in excellent condition is amazing, and I am very pleased with how the Metropolitan Police Service in collaboration with Rolex and the Art Loss Register have dealt with this case.” – Theft victim whose Rolex was recovered following a criminal investigation launched by a Watch Register match

“I would like to convey my heartfelt thanks to the Art Loss Register team for an amazing job locating and getting possession of my stolen Rolex. I really had little hope that it would be recovered, and am so grateful for your help.” – American citizen whose Rolex was stolen in London

Contact the Watch Register

To send a message to the Watch Register please use the form below, providing the name of your business and your contact details, and we will get in touch:

Contact details

+44 (0)20 7841 5781
info@thewatchregister.com
The Watch Register (The International Art and Antique Loss Register Limited)
63-66 Hatton Garden, 1st Floor, London EC1N 8LE, UK

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